26 November 2012
Marussia encouraged despite missing out
John Booth says Marussia can be proud of the 2012 season despite missing out on tenth spot
Team boss John Booth said Marussia had plenty to be encouraged by from the 2012 F1 season despite losing tenth place in the constructors' championship in the final race of the year.
Heading into the Brazilian race, Marussia held the place thanks to Timo Glock's twelfth place finish in Singapore but was aware that Caterham would move back ahead in the standings if Vitaly Petrov or Heikki Kovalainen was able to match that result in Sao Paulo.
As it was, in tricky wet conditions, Petrov crossed the line in eleventh for Caterham ahead of Marussia's Charles Pic to secure the position and although disappointed to miss out, Booth said there was still reason for the team to be proud of its campaign.
"Today is an emotional day for everyone involved with the Marussia F1 Team,” he said. “Tenth place has eluded us after such a long fight and, naturally, 'disappointed' doesn't even come close. We made all the right calls and our strategy worked out perfectly, but in the end we lost out due to factors beyond our control.
"As everyone knows, we had a tough start to the year and we were unable to complete very much at all in the way of pre-season testing. Notwithstanding a difficult debut for the MR01, we were able to hold on to 10th place in the Constructors' Championship for the first five races, before it slipped from our grasp in Monaco. By the mid-point of the season, we had caught up with ourselves in terms of our development strategy and the upgrades we introduced at Silverstone were the first iteration of wind tunnel-tested components with the MR01. We never really looked back from that point and with each new race we were making steps forward - large and small.
"Much has been made of closing the gap to Caterham, but at the same time we have reduced the delta to the mid-field and the front of the field. For example, in Australia the gap between our own fastest lap and the winner's fastest lap was 4.5 per cent, whilst in the closing stages of the season we have reduced that to 2.5 per cent - again, without KERS. So if we reflect on our big picture, it is even more encouraging than may have been apparent.”
Pic himself, who will move to Caterham for the 2013 season, said he felt the race had been his best of the year even if it hadn't ended how Marussia wanted.
"Although the outcome is disappointing, I think today was one of my best races for the team,” he said. “Our strategy was the right one and I pushed very hard the whole race. The conditions were not easy; it was very slippery but the car was quite well-balanced and we put up the best possible fight. In the end, we just lost out unfortunately. My thanks to everyone in the team for a fantastic debut season in F1. We have fought so hard all year and I wish them the very best next season."
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